This month’s DOJANG TOWN MEETING is Wednesday, August 8. Starting at 5:55 pm, Master Cashatt gives a brief orientation for new students and parents – and reminds students of upcoming events. It is also a chance to voice questions, ideas or suggestions. 15 minutes in length.
IT’S SO EASY IT’S HARD
Taekwon students, parents and friends,
My 9th Grade Chemistry teacher was known to say “It’s so easy it’s hard.” It’s funny how thing you learned so long ago stick with you. And that’s exactly what this article is about. Sometimes we give up when all we have to do is dig deeper. What prompted me to write on this subject is the fact that in the past month 3 different students of the past have said to me, “I wish I would have never stopped training.” One of them who trained 15 years ago went on to say that the years spent at the dojang really set down the groundwork for the successes that have come his way. At times when students (or parents) tell me they are discontinuing their training, it saddens me because I put everything I have into trying to make their training as easy and fun as possible. It takes a part of me, but I wouldn’t change that for anything. I am blessed to have taken part in so many lives. It saddens me because I wonder if there was anything I could’ve done to keep their TKD fire burning bright.
Taekwon-Do training has many hard parts. We have requirements that we have to know and we must try and remember everything we’ve learned previously. In today’s world, it seems folks have so many choices and the minute a passion subsides, it’s time to move on and try something different. There is something to be said about knowing a little bit about everything but there is lots to be said when someone sticks with something and gets to know it well! That reminds me of a quote Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa said at his seminars: “know one thing well and you know everything.” The hard part of that though is to put the time in to know one thing well.
Last month one of our dojang passwords was “wisdom does not come by chance.” Experience leads to wisdom and experience comes from “going for it”. We can’t have experiences unless we step away from our comfort zone. With multiple experiences and learning from each one, we can acquire wisdom. With years of steady Taekwon-Do training, we can gain experience in many facets which reflect in other facets of life. The worth of TKD training is limitless.
Can you remember when you first started training in Taekwon-Do. Saju-jirugi was difficult and it became easier. The remarkable thing about it is that as the years go by, one develops a deeper understanding of the details of a properly executed saju-jirugi. I’m still working on my saju-jirugi and I’m still finding ways of improvement as time goes by. Only too often we think we know everything about it and through practice and experience we realize we learn more about something so simple. It is so easy that it is hard and it is so hard that it is easy. This is such a valuable lesson about life.
Another valuable quote is “once we stop learning we grow old.” That’s why it is important to train in a steady manner. It is important to look for inspiration. Some folks and situations are so negative that it can make us feel tired and hopeless. Looking for folks who inspire us and knowing that situations happen and how we deal with it is all that matters. No matter what happens if we keep positive and look for answers, we can continue to live a happy and productive life. There is so much negativity in the news and we have so many ways social media is thrown at us. A well trained TKD student will always look for a silver lining. So many times folks complain about situations but don’t even try to come up with a good solution. The perseverance we gain from our training will help us to come up with solutions and take a chance to improve things.
I am very passionate about Taekwon-Do training and living life! Coming up on finishing 6 decades of my life, I have learned so many lessons and continue to do so daily. I don’t know where I’d be without the 34 plus years of Taekwon-Do training. I just know things would be very different. Let’s all continue to learn lessons and improve our lives and the lives of those around us. Don’t give up! Every day we wake up to opportunities and adventures and it only takes that TKD fire inside us to push us forward and see what joy it brings.
OUTSTANDING STUDENT OF THE MONTH
Every month Master Cashatt chooses a youth gup (color belt) who has shown outstanding characteristics in class. Every student has a chance to be named once in their gup life. In April every year Master Cashatt names the dojang’s youth “OUTSTANDING STUDENT OF THE YEAR” from the youth roster of the dojang. This promotes a constant reminder for the kids to do their best! This month Master Cashatt has chosen:
Ethan has been training at our dojang for almost 6 months and he is almost a yellow belt. Ethan has a very busy schedule with his other passion: swimming. Ethan comes to Taekwon-Do class eager to learn and conquer any challenge brought on. He takes pride in his movements and listens when instructors corrects him.
OUR DOJANG’S 30th BIRTHDAY PARTY NOV. 7th!!
BIG DEMO BEING PLANNED
Starting in September we will be practicing, as a dojang, to put together a Taekwon-Do show like no other! We want all students to be a part of it. 30 years ago on November 7 was the first Taekwon-Do class held in the third floor apartment of the Cashatt’s. Jump ahead 30 years and our dojang has promoted over 400 citizens to 1st Degree Black Belt and many students went beyond that!
The average martial art school lasts 5 years. Through these 30 years the dojang has seen many students join and train and move on to other things while others still continue. Some of our students trained years ago when they were kids and have now come back to continue their training. We are in the 3rd and 4th generation of some families.
All along that time our dojang has had many different instructors helping Master Cashatt. Each decade had its share of wonderfully inspired Black Belts leading classes and changing lives for the better. One way of reflecting back is observing the “OUTSTANDING STUDENT OF THE YEAR” plaques displayed in the dojang. Some names are familiar and many are not but no matter where those students are now in the real world, they are making a positive difference to be sure.
Taekwon-Do itself has evolved over those 30 years. In the beginning (1988-1990) we were a strong part of the USTF (United States Taekwon-Do Federation). The USTF was headed by Master Chuck Seriff from Colorado. Locally we were under Master Jim Murray from Pottstown. The USTF was our United States group affiliated with General Choi and the one and only ITF (International Taekwon-Do Federation). In 1990 we left the ITF and the USTF and Master Murray formed the UTF with his dojang in Pottstown, Master Lees in East Greenville, Master Greak in Winfield, PA, Master White from Syracuse, NY, the North Penn TKD under Mr. Nederostek, Hope TKD under Master Mullen and Mr. Louie’s dojangs near Lancaster.
In 2002, General Choi died and the ITF splintered in to 4 different ITF’s. In 2003 Master Murray retired from TKD and the UTF went on to be led by Master Lees up to this day. When Master Murray retired, Master Greak, Master White and Mr. Louie formed the Yom-chi Federation. In 2005 some of the UTF dojangs including ours joined the ITF under Grandmaster Choi Jung Hwa, General Choi’s son. Since then we’ve been keeping up with all the technical changes and many of our students have competed around the world including this year with Mr. Ricky Hollenbach and Mr. Rich Hollenbach competing in Argentina. Mr. Apgar also accompanied them as a coach for the TEAM USA!
Through those years, Mark Cashatt’s Taekwon-Do School has hosted 24 years of TKD Summer Camp Weekends for all ages since 1995. We’ve also hosted 17 UATW (Ultimate Adult TKD Weekends) exclusively for adults who train in Taekwon-Do. We have so many wonderful memories of training with friends and growing in Taekwon-Do.
Then it comes down to 30 years ago on November 7, Master Cashatt started with 4 students in the attic of his apartment and we will celebrate that day this November 7 at 6 pm. We are figuring on putting on a 45 minute Taekwon-Do show with dynamic board breaks, outstanding group routines and lots of surprises. We want each student to get involved but we will start with a crew of GREEN BELT and above for the opening routine. If you or your child has ever performed with the HWA-RANG WARRIORS before, please join us. You’ll know what we will be creating. If you’d like to join the team for the first time make sure to sign up on the dojang wall so you are ready for our first practice Monday, September 10. Practices for this team will be every Monday from 7-8 pm. Please talk to Master Cashatt or Mr. Hollenbach for more details.
WORD OF MOUTH ABOUT OUR DOJANG!
Recruiting new students has always been an issue in running a good dojang. We need to get word out to our fellow citizens who many not know the wonderful benefits of Taekwon-Do training.
Many countries around the world have some type of self-defense or martial arts in their regular school system. It would be a wonderful idea in the USA to curb the bullying going on and to give the kids a level of confidence. Many problems have been reported about martial art teachers who teach the physical part without stressing the most important part- the attitude and mental make-up of a true Black Belt. But that’s just like anything else in the world today. Effort must be put forth to ensure quality instruction and leadership.
For those of us who have been training in Taekwon-Do, we realize the many benefits that have enhanced our lives and those around us. Taekwon-Do has been a tool in the foundation of a productive life with the conquering of many obstacles and the reaching of many difficult goals.
The transition and evolution of martial arts training has been slow and to be quite honest, stifling to many arts. We have had to put aside many of the “old school” drills and challenges and we have had to work on the “politically correct” way of addressing issues, but that is exactly what is important in today’s world. The perseverance that is linked with becoming a Black Belt doesn’t stand a chance with many of our common folks. They just don’t have the drive and the passion to continue training long enough to get a Black Belt.
Our dojang needs promoting. The words that come from our students is the best advertisement. We, as a student body, must make sure all our friends and relatives know about how much we’ve learned and how much fun we have at our dojang. Remember that if you bring a student to our dojang and they stay for 6 months – you get a free month of training! Please ask for a FREE MONTH PASS at the reception counter and hand them out wherever you go! Training is fun in itself, but when you bring your buddies in to train, it becomes even more fun. Please help our dojang grow.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
- AUG. 8…DOJANG TOWN MEETING starts at 5:55 pm
- AUG. 23…GUP TEST starts at 6 pm
- SEPT. 10…WARRIOR PRACTICE begins at 7 pm
- SEPT. 27-30….2018 UATW (Ultimate Adult TKD Weekend)
- OCT. 17…DOJANG TRIVIA BOWL
- OCT. 26…DOJANG HALLOWEEN PARTY 7 pm
- NOV. 3…GRANDMASTER WHEATLEY IN N.J.
- NOV. 7…..DOJANG 30th BIRTHDAY PARTY
- NOV. 10….2018 TUL JON-SA (Pattern Competition)